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Russian online shopping habits differ from UK

19 May 2011 - 10:00 by Mike Price

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Consumers in Russia have been shown to be slightly more hesitant when paying for products through safe shopping online than the millions who enjoy the benefits of e-commerce in the UK, according to BBC News.

One of the country's largest online retailers said that 80 per cent of the products it sells are paid for by Russian customers in cash rather than via card payment. Using credit or debit cards to buy goods and services on the internet is by far the most popular method in the UK.

Russian retail expert, Maelle Gavet, said that a majority of shoppers order their product online and then head into a store to pay for it in cash, only agreeing to hand over the money once they have got a hands-on look at what they are buying.

Another way in which Russian payment habits differ from those in the UK is that courier services often drop off products bought via safe shopping online and collect the payment direct from the customer at the same time. This apparently applies for everything from small items like DVDs to big household appliances such as fridges.

One of the reasons for the prevalence of cash payments in the Russian e-commerce market is that credit cards have not penetrated as large a proportion of the population as they have in the UK. Tradition dictates that Russian consumers are simply more comfortable with the idea of checking out a product and then paying in paper money.

Last year the e-commerce market in Russia generated £5.2 billion for the country's economy. Only 20 per cent of Russia's web-ready households have actually used e-commerce sites to make a purchase and so the retailers have a lot of work to do in order to convince consumers that online payments are the right route to take.